State government is expected to see $452 million more in the general fund to end the biennium than previously projected, according to new figures released Thursday by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Based upon our analysis, we project the closing, net general fund balance at the end of this biennium (June 30, 2021) to be $620.2 million. This is $451.9 million above the balance that was projected at the time of enactment of the 2019-21 biennial budget, as modified to incorporate the 2018-19 ending balance (2019-20 opening balance) as shown in the Annual Fiscal Report for 2018-19.

The $451.9 million is the net result of: (1) an increase of $818.2 million in estimated tax collections; (2) an increase of $20.0 million in departmental revenues (non-tax receipts deposited into the general fund); (3) a decrease of $22.8 million in net appropriations; and (4) a transfer of $409.1 million to the budget stabilization fund.

Republican heads of the state’s powerful budget committee – Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), and Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) pledged to use the new revenue to “continue to look for ways to protect taxpayers instead of growing government.”

Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz says the legislature should put some thought into it. {It) gets a little dangerous when you start making spending or tax cut decisions in a vacuum without an eye for the future,” Hintz said “That’s when government has some regrets.”

He’s hoping to see more funding for a number of the items that were cut from this year’s budget, including spending on youth prisons, aid for the UW-System, and school based mental health care.

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